When my book, Bermuda Shorts went up on Amazon, I was biting my nails at what people might say about it in their personal reviews. I was chagrined, of course, by some who didn’t ‘get it,’ but I was even more bowled over by those who did, and in spades. I always rely on personal reviews when I buy a book off the web, or an electrical device, say. I think it’s one of the unsung benefits of the internet. What do strangers think? I can pretty much tell when I read a review of a product if the reviewer and I see somewhere close to eye-to-eye on a thing. Maybe it’s something in the tone of a review. So I’ve taken the time to cut and paste some customer reviews of my book here. Some of these folks I know, or have come to know, some I don’t. I hope you enjoy some of these, or find them useful.
This one is from Robert Kibler, a man who is running for public office in Minot, North Dakota…Thanks Robert, I hope to live up to this in my future writings!
“Inside the front cover of James Patterson’s Bermuda Shorts, he suggests a literal set of pants as metaphor, presumably, for what is to be found inside: short essays that have about them the lightness of a summer island, but the sober air of a philosophy. And a fine combination it is too. Patterson has the nifty ability to talk with his reader, essay by essay, to converse casually about his world and ours, to see them as one and the same. What do we talk about? Summer vacations with old boats on silent lakes, friends and mentors. We talk of lovers and art, poetry and politics, music, baseball, and God–all of course over several drinks. Above all, or through all, we talk about the beauty of the world and of its people. Patterson brings a wondrous look at human beings engaged in their work, in their living. While the emphasis in his essays is clearly on humor, character, and just plain good old fashioned story telling, he stands up against the harder aspects of the human condition too, putting beneath our feet an always resurgent sense of loss, of death, and of ineluctable change.
Once I started reading Bermuda Shorts, I never wanted to put it down. It is a wise book, pithy but never heavy, nostalgic but never maudlin, irreverent but never ridiculous. And some of the characters to whom Patterson introduces me I feel honored to have met, among them Chubby Blewett the boatmaker, Charles Winston Young, mad painter, and the mysteriously dark and sexy musician, Amanda Gay. Highly recommend.”
George Christo sits behind me at Washington Capitals hockey games from time to time. He and his son Trey are always a lively addition to our section (417) when they attend. When he learned I had written a book, he not only bought it, and read it, but bought several copies to give to his friends for Christmas. For the record, I’m a liberal Dem, George apparently is not, I find it a faith renewing fact that given our differences in politics, George is able to look passed all that to find those subtle and not so subtle essences in my work. As long as George gets what I do, cripes! there might be hope for all of us! Thanks George, and let’s get this latest lockout over with soon, eh?
“Put on your sense of humor and prepare for the most enjoyable read you’ll have had in years. A great book of short stories by the self-described, unelected, but sure-to-be-nominated ‘Mayor of 417.’ Bermuda Shorts is loosely organized by topic, and most stories get some yuks and conjure just a little thinking about what it’s like to walk in this man’s (or another character’s) shoes. Patterson writes some of the best contemporary sketches of characters, scenes, and philosophical observations I’ve read. If you take it too seriously, you’ll miss it. If you think it’s going to be mindless comedy, you’ll totally miss it. Don’t get caught up in the political point of view, or else you will miss brilliant and sometimes laugh-inducing irony. This from someone who screams across the canyon at Patterson’s politics. Sometimes I want to say he’s wrong. But what if he’s right about that guy on the Metro platform? Great to read and great for gift-giving. Trust me, I have. This is in my top 5 of the last 5 years.”
When Grace Cavelieri interviewed me for her show on NPR, “The Poet and the Poem,” she told me that she read the eighteen stories in Bermuda Shorts, one each day over eighteen days. Why? Because, she calculated, that it took exactly the time to read one story as it takes for her to sip a champagne cocktail, a treat she has each day after work. I think I found my perfect reader! Thanks Grace!
“BERMUDA SHORTS is a compendium of essays, true fables and philosophical writings. These are bemusements of our world from sports to music to poetry and beyond. The best of it is that the journey is inward with a shimmering of knowing that we would attribute to a much older man. Verve. thoughtfulness and intellectual activism of fire James Patterson’s wisdom. We knew him as a sports writer–simplicity of form = power on the line; Now his reach broadens and so does ours. These are completely enjoyable, informative and beautifully written pieces about the past and the present which happily warm us to the future of prose.”Grace Cavalieri
Producer. The Poet and the Poem
from the Library of Congress